Archive for the ‘Champions League’ Category

CF11F040-6709-495D-AB94-A4AAFE2C3AF0

Tuesday night saw Manchester City take on Napoli at The Etihad. As has often been the case this season they started like an express train and were soon two goals up. It looked for all the world as though they were going to score four or more goals again.

Unusually though, for City anyway, they laboured a little in trying to find a third goal and it was actually Napoli who should have scored but Mertens penalty was straight down the middle, a route whereby the ball will often catch the goalkeepers legs whichever way he is diving, as it did in this case. (more…)

Advertisements

1492634968_774431_1492637220_noticia_normal

The Champion’s league started life as the European Cup back in 1955. It was originally intended to be a competition featuring the champions of the major European football leagues and ran, in this format, for 37 years.

As a tournament it was very successful and also very simple. Ties were played over two legs, home and away, and the winners progressed to the next round. Nothing too complicated there then. To be in it a team either had to win it or win their domestic league.

Unfortunately, not only was this not complicated enough for UEFA, it also didn’t generate enough money so, in 1992, the Champion’s League was born. (more…)

IMG_2162

Tuesday night saw Manchester City face Shakhtar Donetsk, Liverpool played Spartak Moscow and Tottenham Hotspur were in Cyprus playing Apoel Nicosia.

At The Etihad City made relatively hard work of beating Shakhtar who were always threatening on the break. However, a second half goal from Kevin De Bruyne settled the nerves eventually and Raheem Sterling followed this up with a second which he tried his hardest to put over the bar, just failing as it went in off the underside.

That is now two games and two wins with six goals scored and none conceded and is the first time that the club has ever won it’s first two games in the competition. (more…)

IMG_2138

Having recently retired as the “undisputed prediction king – failed abysmally“, (for the time being anyway), our thoughts now turn to new, (or at least re-worked old), ways of filling the column inches.

The first subject which springs to mind is the return of the Champion’s League. You know, that tournament which, according to stubborn old man at Arsenal, has lost some of it’s sparkle. This is what he said. (more…)

4

The first thing to point out is that Paul Pogba’s injury, which may keep him out for a month or even six weeks depending upon your daily rag of choice, is not the end of the world.

Yes, he is one of the first names on the teamsheet and has been in good form recently, even scoring a couple of goals in the opening games, and yes, he will be missed.

He will probably be replaced, however, by Ander Herrera in some games and Marouane Fellaini in others and, occasionally, by both. The way the pair have been playing recently means that the loss of Pogba will not be felt quite as much as it might have been at a different time of the season. (more…)

With an unprecedented six teams competing in this year’s competition one would be forgiven for thinking that the odds on a British team winning the trophy are pretty decent.

The problem, as is often the case, is that quantity tends to get confused with quality.

Today we take a brief look at the three teams who have already played their first games and assess their chances. (more…)

After a season whereby Chelsea chose to concentrate on winning the Premier League and Manchester United on winning the Europa League, Arsenal chose to win the FA Cup and Arséne Wenger, much to the irritation of almost every Arsenal fan, chose to stay on as manager for a further two years.

This choice is purely selfish as Wenger just doesn’t know what he is going to do when he retires and has already said as much when commenting on Lord Ferg’s retirement. (more…)

IMG_2010

As usual there has been a knee-jerk reaction by the FA. This time it is to complaints from some Premier League clubs that the transfer window stayed open for too long.

The fact that the window was still open after the season started meant that squads couldn’t be finalised and players were still on the move, sometimes after having played a game for their previous club as in the case of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who played against Liverpool in one game and then for them in the next. (more…)

IMG_1966

With the draw for the group stages of this years competition due to be made on the 24th August in Monaco, we look at who the British contingent could face and assess their chances of qualifying for the next stage. First up is:

Chelsea

The Blues could face Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund or Porto.

Roma, RB Leipzig, Basel, Feyenoord and Anderlecht are also possibilities. (more…)

IMG_1694

At the end of this current transfer window the top six Premier League clubs, (seven, if you include Everton), will have spent millions of pounds improving their squads to have another tilt at winning the title next season.

For five of the top six Champion’s League football also beckons so they need the depth of squad to be able to juggle this with their other commitments.

Arsenal and Everton will compete in the Europa League so it is fair to say that their quality and quantity will also be tested.

The big question is: Will an English club win the Champion’s League next season? (more…)